#0405: Footbot



Time for part two of my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates reviews. I have to admit, after the Comic Turtles last week, I kinda figured I’d be taking a break from TMNT. It’s not like they make up a particularly large portion of my collection. But, alas, Diamond had other plans. I can’t turn down Minimates, right? Today, I’ll be looking at one of the Turtles’ foes, the Footbot.


The Footbot is a variant of the Foot Ninja, which is the quintessential TMNT army builder. He was released in the first series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates. This figure is specifically from the K-Mart Blind Bag assortment, which means he’s got one extra piece to differentiate him. The Footbot is about 2 ½ inches tall and he features 20 points of articulation (those extra arms sure do help!). He’s based on the character’s design from the current cartoon. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body with non-standard upper arms, upper legs, and hand attachments, as well as an add-on belt piece with two duplicate arms attached. All of the sculpted parts are new to this figure (though the upper arms and legs are shared with the standard Foot Ninja) and they all work very nicely. Each of the hand attachments is different, which certainly adds some variety. Where the paint on Raphael was a bit of a disappointment, the paint on the Footbot is nothing short of exceptional. There’s plenty of detail work, and all of the lines are clean and crisp. The eyes in particular are a fantastic example of conveying dimension through creative paint. The Footbot includes a sword, a sheath and strap, and a spare set of hands, allowing him to be converted into a standard Foot Ninja, as well as a clear display stand and the K-Mart exclusive-ish keychain attachment.


Like Raph, the Footbot was purchased from K-Mart. He’s actually the only one I knew I was getting ahead of time, as the package was slightly opened. If I’m honest, he’s my favorite figure in the series by far, and he may very well be one of my favorite Minimates, period. About the only downside of this figure is that the extra pieces kind of make the normal Foot Soldier redundant, but I’m hardly complaining!

#0404: Raphael



I think it’s safe to say that Minimates, as a brand, is on the rise. I know, it’s my favorite line, and there’s bias and everything, but really, I think they’re moving up. Diamond is pretty consistently picking up new licenses and they’ve really started to diversify and find ways to reach new audiences.  Sometimes, this goes beyond just new licenses and extends to how these figures are distributed. It seems that a number of retailers requested the blind-packaging method, similar to how the current LEGO Minifigures line is handled. I’m not a huge fan of the concept, but as long as they don’t go overboard with insane case pack-outs, it’s not the worst thing to happen to the line. The first license to have this method of distribution applied to it is the newly launched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Raphael is part of the first series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates blind bags. This figure is specifically from the K-Mart assortment, which means he has an extra accessory, but otherwise he’ll be the same as other releases. Raph is just under 2 ½ inches tall and features 12 points of articulation. This figure, like all the others in this line, is based on the character’s appearance in the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Raph uses the basic Minimate body as a starting point, with non-standard pieces for the lower arms, hands, lower legs, and head, as well as an add-on for his shell. The hands, arms and legs are new to this series of figures, and they are shared amongst the four turtles. They’re pretty well done, and they make the figure adequately unique looking. The head is done in three parts, with the upper and lower most parts also being shared with the other turtles and the middle mask pice being exclusive to Raph. The construction of the heads allows for the mask to be a three dimensional piece, without any worries of it slipping down the head if it’s too loose. The last piece is the shell, which is also unique to Raph. It’s well sculpted, and it even has slots on the back for storage of his Sai. It would have been better if the crack in the front had been sculpted, but otherwise the shell is nice. What’s not quite as nice is the figure’s paint. It’s not horrible, mind you, and the detail lines used for the eyes and mouth are actually very clean. The problem is that the base paint work is really only placed in the general area of where it should be. There’s a lot of slop and bleed over, and many hard cuts aren’t a straight as they should be.  Raphael includes his twin Sai blades (brand new to this figure) and a display stand painted up like a manhole cover, which is actually really cool. The K-Mart version also includes an extra keychain attachment. All you have to do is pop off the figure’s head, and voila, instant keychain.


Raphael was purchased along with several other blind bag figures from K-Mart. K-Mart isn’t my favorite place to go, but I ended up having some time to kill a few weekends ago, and K-Mart was close by. They had a strip of blind bag figures, so I went ahead and grabbed all they had. Out of the 11 I got, two ended up being this guy. He’s a pretty fun figure, even if he isn’t perfect.

#0403: Chitauri Footsoldier



When the Avengers movie was a few months away from release, solicitations and advertisements started coming out for the various tie-ins. The interesting thing about them was that they all listed Loki’s army under the term “REDACTED.” Speculation ran rampant about just who these mysterious foes were. Everything pointed to the Skrulls, but Fox still held the movie rights to them, thanks to the Fantastic Four license. When it was confirmed they wouldn’t be Skrulls, my first thought was “As long as it’s not the damn Chitauri.” Well…it turned out to be the damn Chitauri. However, it wasn’t all bad. See, in the comics, the Chitauri first appeared in the Ultimate universe, where they were the boring, grey, completely joyless stand-ins for the Skrull. Essentially, they just had all the fun sucked out. But, when they were brought into the Cinematic universe, the damn Chitauri were redesigned and given their own style and characterization. And now they suck less. Yay!


The Chitauri Footsoldier was released as one of the Avengers movie tie-ins in the Marvel Select line. Most of the time, Marvel Select is just single releases without any series layout, but the Avengers tie-in actually offered a whole series of figures. The Chitauri Footsoldier is based on the lower ranking aliens we saw the Avengers tearing through in the final battle in New York. The figure is 7 ¾ inches tall and features 29 points of articulation. The sculpt is completely unique to this figure. In all honesty, it’s not the most accurate depiction of the movie design. In Diamond’s defense, the figure was more than likely based on early design work, before the Chitauri were fully rendered. The helmet seems the most off; it’s a bit too squat and too wide. The eyes are a bit far apart, and overall, the figure’s details are a little smoother. The overall look isn’t too bad, and at the very least, the body’s proportions are pretty good. Point is, no one will confuse this figure for something else. The paint is about on par with the sculpt. It doesn’t have incredible details, but it’s bold and cleanly applied. The colors are also pretty close to what they should be. The Chitauri Footsoldier includes a stand, which seems to depict some sort of rooftop, and appears to be able to link up with the stands included with the other figures from the series. It would have been nice to get a blaster like the one all the Chitauri were carrying, but seeing as the only figures to include that piece are the Hot Toys versions released two years after the movie, I’d say licensors weren’t provided with the design early enough to implement such an accessory.


While I did like the redesign of the Chitauri, I didn’t have enough of an attachment to it to pay full retail for a Marvel Select figure. However, just a few weeks ago, Cosmic Comix was doing a 40% off sale on all their MS figures. At that price, I figured the Chitauri Footsoldier was worth it. The figure’s design definitely strays a bit from the movie one, but in my opinion, all the changes are for the better, resulting in a figure I thoroughly enjoy.

#0402: Cyborg Superman



In the early days of DC Direct figures, Hasbro’s contract for the license prevented DCD from making figures of any characters related to Batman and Superman. Following the transfer of the license to Mattel, DCD was allowed to release those characters to their heart’s content. So, they released a line of figures for each of them. The Batman figures skewed more classic, while the Superman figures took a more modern flare. Today, I’ll be looking at that line’s version of Cyborg Superman, another character with “Superman” in his name who is not actually the man of steel.


Cyborg Superman was released in Series 2 of DC Direct’s Superman line. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and he sports 17 points of articulation, which was quite a thing for a DCD figure to have at this point in time. With a character like this, there’s bound to be some parts overlap between this figure and the basic Superman. In reality, he doesn’t share as much as you might expect. His entire left arm, his left thigh, his right foot, and his cape are the same. The rest is unique to this figure, though some parts are tweaked parts from the base Superman. I should point out at this time that my figure’s lower jaw went missing at some point, and I replaced it with a somewhat crudely sculpted replacement. So, the real figure’s jaw was much nicer. However, this figure’s price has since skyrocketed, so I won’t be getting a proper replacement anytime soon. The figure’s sculpt was very, very well done. The proportions are great, and the robotic pieces look fantastic. One of the coolest things about the sculpt is the organic quarter of his face, which is similar to the full sculpt of the main Superman, but just different enough to let you know this isn’t the same guy. It’s really good work. The figure’s paint, while not anything outstanding, is pretty solid. The colors are nice and vibrant, and everything is nice and cleanly applied. Cyborg Superman included a S-emblem display stand.


I got Cyborg Superman when he was relatively new, from a comicbook store nearby the house we had just moved my aunt into. I had missed out on the regular version of Superman, so I “settled” for this figure. While there are plenty of Supermen that have surpassed the version offered in Series 1, none of the Cyborg Supermen have come close to this one, so I’d say I got the better end of the deal. I just wish I hadn’t lost that jaw…

#0401: Composite Superman



In the 50s and 60s, DC Comics was really king of the absurd idea. Their stories pretty much run on absurdity. When it comes to absurd characters, Composite Superman is definitely up there. Right off the bat, he’s a dude who’s half Superman ad half Batman. But, what’s even wackier is that his origin has nothing to do with Superman or Batman. He’s actually a janitor from the future, granted the powers of all of the members of the Legion of Super Heroes when lightning struck a display of figurines possessing their abilities. So, umm… yeah. On the plus side, the fact that he’s half and half of two of DC’s top characters means he’s gotten not one, but two action figures!


Composite Superman was released in Series 3 of DC Direct’s First Appearance line. The first two series were purely golden age characters, but the diversified a bit starting with Series 3. This is the first of the two Composite Superman figures. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation. In case the name of the line didn’t clue you in, he’s based on the character’s first appearance, drawn by the legendary Curt Swan. Simply put, the sculpt is outstanding. It’s head to toe a perfect recreation of Swan’s art. The two halves are distinct to each character, but still totally in synch with each other. The only downside to this figure is that DC Direct never separated the sculpt out into proper Swan versions of Superman and Batman (though they did release a completely unique Superman sculpt of a similar style in their Showcase line). The paint is fairly straightforward, but that’s not a bad thing. The colors are all nice, bold and distinct, emphasizing the differences between the halves. The boots and glove have also been done in a very nice glossy sheen, which adds a nice amount of depth to the look. Composite Superman included a mini-replica of his first appearance and a gold display stand.


The Composite Superman, like so many of my DC Direct figures, was gotten from a friend who works for Diamond Distributors. I’ve always loved the look of the character, and I was thrilled to find out he was getting an action figure. To top that, it’s not just any action figure, it’s a phenomenal action figure. This really was one of DC Direct’s best efforts.

#0400: Waxer, Boil, & Numa



When it comes to Star Wars, it’s no secret that I’m not much of a fan of the prequel trilogy. The reasons are many, far too many to list here. However, I don’t hate everything about the prequels. In particular, the two spin-off cartoons (The Clone Wars and Clone Wars) were actually not terrible. The latter series kind of meandered and wasn’t always the greatest, but it had its shining moments, and there are a few episodes in particular that I really enjoyed. When Sideshow was looking for interesting ways to expand their 12 inch Star Wars line, they turned to the cartoon for some ideas. Today, I’ll be looking at two of the line’s clone troopers, Waxer and Boil, as well as their small compatriot Numa.


This set was released by Sideshow in the summer of 2011 as part of their Star Wars line. The set is based on the episode “Innocents of Ryloth” which happens to be one of my favorite episodes of the show (it probably helps that the episode is essentially a 30 minute love letter to Aliens). This is the regular release of the set, but there was also a Sideshow exclusive version which had an extra piece for Numa.


What’s interesting about Waxer is that he actually wasn’t created for the show. He actually first appeared in a comicbook story. When they got around to adapting that particular story, he had to be replaced by Boil due to having the misfortune of dying one episode previous. Bummer. Waxer is essentially based on his appearance in the episode, but he’s been given a more real world style. The figure is about 12 inches tall, and he’s got a bunch of articulation, which I don’t have an exact count on, as I don’t make a habit of undressing my action figures. Aside from the black jumpsuit, which is very well tailored, Waxer is pretty much all sculpted pieces. They’re all from previous clone troopers, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive. They are sharp and symmetrical, and they really look like the armor from the movies. The paintwork is exceptional, with plenty of weathering and texture to really make the armor look appropriately broken in. The orange accents, denoting him as being a clone under Commander Cody, are vibrant and clean, and really add to the figure’s look. He also has a few spots of graffiti on his helmet, which are true to the episode, and really contribute to the uniqueness of the figure. Waxer includes an extra un-helmeted head, a Phase II helmet, an extra set of fisted hands, extra running feet, blasters in three sizes, binoculars, and a display stand with the basic Star Wars logo. The head, while not Hot Toys quality, is pretty impressive. It’s an alright likeness of Temuera Morrison, though with the baldness and the smirk, it bears an uncanny resemblance to Billy Zane. The extra helmet is fine, though it lacks the personalization of the regular helmet. The hands offer a few options, and are all very nicely sculpted. The running feet are a neat concept, but finding a use for them can be difficult. The binoculars and blasters are pretty standard fare, but impressive nonetheless, and the stand is the new Hot Toys-style stand that allows the figure to be picked up and replaced with ease.


Boil was created for the show as a partner in crime for Waxer, which is a role he filled quite well. Like Waxer, he’s based on his appearance in “Innocents of Ryloth” with a slightly more realistic approach taken. He’s about 12 inches tall, and he has the same points of articulation that Waxer has, however many that may be. He uses the basic Sideshow armored buck as a starting point, with the same black jumpsuit as Waxer. The armor is all the same, and it’s still really well executed, so that’s a definite plus. From the neck down, Boil’s paint is identical to that of Waxer. It’s fitting, since that’s true to the design, and it’s still an impressive set of work. Boil’s helmet is slightly different. He doesn’t have the vertical line of orange going down the center, and he has some slightly more elaborate graffiti on his helmet. It looks really good, and it’s minor, but different enough to set him apart nicely from Waxer. Boil pretty much comes with all the same stuff as Waxer: an un-helmeted head, a Phase II helmet, the extra hands and feet, the assortment of blasters, and the display stand. Most of it’s the same, but the helmet is done to match the pattern on his regular helmet, and obviously the un-helmeted head is different to convey Boil’s different look. He’s got a full head of hair, so the Morrison likeness is a bit more immediately apparent. The mustache looks a bit silly, but that’s true of the show’s design. He also has a few extra hands in a variety of gestures, which make for some entertaining poses.


Numa is one of the titular innocents from the episode this set is based on. She’s essentially just Newt from Aliens. Her presence is what really makes this an episode-specific set, rather than just a pair of clone troopers. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and she features 5 points of articulation, which essentially means she’s only good for slight variations on the basic standing look. Numa’s smaller stature means she gets an all-new sculpt. It’s fairly well done. It seems to be the proper proportions and such. Numa’s head is probably the sculpt most negatively affected by the more realistic style. It’s not bad, but she seems somewhat expressionless. Also, the head seems a bit too small for the figure, which kind of makes her seem out of scale with Waxer and Boil. Numa has a cloth dress with a pleather belt. It’s pretty well tailored to the figure, and it seems to be an accurate depiction of what she wore in the episode. Numa’s paint work is pretty decent. It’s not super high quality, but it’s clean and even, and it does a good job with the colors and such. Numa’s only accessory is a display stand which can plug into the bottom of her left foot. The exclusive set added an extra arm holding the toy that she carries for most of the episode. The lack of accessories is forgivable, since Numa’s practically an accessory herself.


Like I said above, “Innocents of Ryloth” is one of my favorite episodes of the series, so I knew pretty much as soon as this was announced that I wanted it. I remember I actually only saw a headshot of the two clones and I thought to myself, “well if they included Numa, I’d have to get it.” No sooner had I thought that, I scrolled down and saw the full picture and there she was. My super awesome, super supportive parents were kind enough to buy this for my birthday in 2011, which was very nice of them. I really like this set. Sure, Numa’s not perfect, but the clones just about are, and Numa is decent enough that she makes a great complement to them.

#0399: Michelangelo – Comic



Okay, last day of Comic Turtles. Here we are. I considered putting off the last review just to screw with everybody, but that didn’t seem very nice. So, here he is, the last member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo.


“Among his brothers, Michelangelo possesses the most natural athletic abilities. His physical prowess, along with an enthusiastic imagination, comes in handy when action is needed to escape a dangerous predicament. Mikey displays his show-stopping persona and skills with the nunchucks.” Michelangelo is part of the 12th series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates. The line was originally based on the current Nickelodeon cartoon, but it seems to have started to diversify. Mikey is based on his original appearance, back when the turtles all looked pretty much the same. The figure stands roughly 4 ½ inches tall and features 17 points of articulation. The lack of wrist joints is killer, and it’s something that really holds the figures back, but otherwise, everything is pretty good. Mikey’s sculpt is the same-old-same-old; same body with a new head. The body’s not a bad sculpt, so the re-use is perfectly fine. However, Mikey’s head seems a bit more of a disappointment than the others. He just doesn’t exhibit the jovial personality that Mikey is known for. Maybe if the eyes were a bit wider. Mikey’s paint is pretty much identical to that seen on the others, which is reasonably good. I do wish they had done something to bring out more of the sculpted details, but at least it’s clean. Mikey includes is trademark nunchucks, which are the most disappointing accessory in the series. They lack any real texture, and the sculpted pose of the chains doesn’t really allow for much creativity with the poses.


Mikey was part of the set of comic Turtles I purchased from my local Toys R Us. If he hadn’t been part of the set, I could see myself passing on this one. He’s not terrible, and in the context of the full set, he looks fine, but as his own figure? He’s just sort of lackluster, especially when you consider that NECA’s take on Comic Mikey was probably the best in the set. But, that figure goes for an insane aftermarket price, and this one is $9, so that’s what he’s got going for him.

#0398: Raphael – Comic



Uh… so, two days in, I’m kind of out of compelling things to say about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sorry. I just don’t have a lot of interesting history with the property. Um, so today is Raphael’s turn. He’s the only of the Turtles that continued to sport the red bandana when they moved to animation, so some people have a tendency to confuse a comic style Turtles display as “four Raphaels.” So, here he is.


“Quick to anger and slow to cool off, Raphael has mastered his twin Sai blades, but not his own temper. Easily the most fearsome and fearless fighter of the group, Raphael often leaps into battle no matter what the odds… and often without looking first.” Raphael is part of Series 12 of the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line from Playmates. Raph is based on the character’s original comicbook appearance, but unlike the rest of the series, he can also function as a more conventional version of the character. The figure is about 4 ½ inches in height, with 17 points of articulation. I know I keep harping on it, but the lack of wrist articulation on these figures is killer. It’s almost impossible to get any sort of decent pose out of Raph with his Sais, and the missing wrist articulation is completely to blame. The figures even have wrist bands, so the articulation would be perfectly hidden. Raph’s sculpt is mostly what we’ve seen before on the other turtles, but with the usual character specific head. Raph’s head is angrier than the others, which suits his personality. It’s a small touch, but I like the fact that Raph and Don are opening their mouths on the opposite sides, conveying their opposing natures. On a side note, my Raph ended up with two right thighs. It’s not a major issue, but it’s a little annoying, so make sure to check the legs on these guys if you can. Raph’s paint is essentially the same as the others in the series, which is okay, but not spectacular. His is cleaner than Don’s, which is good, but he still has a little bit of bleed over, especially around the elbow and knee pads. Raph includes his twin Sai blades. They’re rather large, and a bit too flat, but that’s fairly typical for Raphael figures.


Raph was purchased along with the rest of the Comic Turtles from my local Toys R Us. Raph was actually my cousin’s favorite turtle, though he’s only my second favorite. He’s got some additional appeal in that his color is the one most commonly associated with the character, so that’s cool.

#0397: Leonardo – Comic



My fandom of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is something of a shared one. My brother Christian and I both got into it at about the same time. His favorite was Michelangelo and mine was Donatello, so we were a little different on our opinions of the Turtles. But, there was one character we agreed on: Leonardo was our least favorite. For some reason, I always found the character’s straight-laced nature a bit grating. That’s never really changed for me, but a Turtles collection isn’t complete without all four, I still have a few figures of him. Today, I’ll be looking at the latest take on his original interpretation.


“Known as being brave, dedicated and a master of his twin Katana swords, Leonardo is the hero’s hero – a force of good fighting against the minions of evil, and, he’s got a really cool shell!” Leonardo is part of Series 12 of Playmates’ current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. He’s based on the character’s original comicbook design. This is before the turtles got quite as individualized as they are in later versions, but it’s important none the less. The figure is roughly 4 ½ inches tall with 17 points of articulation. The lack of wrist articulation is less of an issue here than it was on Donatello, but it’s still annoying. From the neck down, Leo’s sculpt is identical to Donatello. It’s a good base, so no complaints there. The head is new, and it’s pretty good. Leo has a closed mouth, and squinty eyes. He’s got a calm, but intense look about him that works well for the character. Leo’s mask sits better than Don’s, and the ties have a bit more flow to them, with something of a windblown look to them. On the plus side, Leo sports one of the cleanest paint jobs in the set. It’s not really different from any of the others, but the application is better, which makes the whole thing a bit better. Leo includes his two twin Katana. They’re pretty well sculpted, but the total lack of paint is a bit of a bummer.


I got the whole set of Comic Turtles from my local Toys R Us. Leo is pretty much just along for the ride on that one. Like Donatello, he’s not the greatest figure ever released, but he’s really not bad. You could do a lot worse for $9.

#0396: Donatello – Comic



“Back in 1984, a single 40-page black-and-white underground comic redefined the comic book industry and created a world-wide phenomenon. For 30 years, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have entertained and thrilled legions of fans across the globe – and they’re still going strong!”

While I never seemed to get the timing right with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (all of the incarnations are well spaced enough for me to be out of the target audience every time), I still have a pretty decent appreciation for the characters. In particular, I love their early comic looks. A few years ago, NECA released a fantastic set of the main turtles in that style. Unfortunately, I only found half the team, and the aftermarket prices are far too prohibitive for me to finish the set. Thankfully, Playmates has seen fit to offer their own set of the original designs as part of their current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line, originally based on the Nickelodeon cartoon. I’ll be starting with the resident tech guy, Donatello.


“The usually calm and collected Donatello has difficulty containing his enthusiasm when encountering new technologies. Or when working on a new invention or being hot on the trail of a scientific breakthrough, plus his kick-butt mastery of the Bo staff, makes him one unique turtle.” Donatello was released in Series 12 of Playmates’ current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. Donatello is based on his original comicbook incarnation, which is a lot less unique than later versions became. He’s about 4 ½ inches tall and he’s got 17 points of articulation. The articulation is pretty good overall, but the lack of wrist joints hurts the figure quite a bit. In this day and age, such joints should pretty much be mandatory. His left hip is also rather loose, but this is likely to vary from figure to figure. From the neck down, Donatello’s sculpt is identical to the other three turtles. It’s a good sculpt, with decent proportions and quite a bit of texture. It’s a pretty good match for the art from the comics. The head is unique to Donatello. It’s a more passive look, though not as passive as Donatello frequently is. His mouth is open on the right side, but only the slightest bit. The texturing and lines on the skin haven’t been a hit with everyone, but I think they look fine. The bandana is a separate piece, and it doesn’t sit as flat as I’d like on my figure, but it’s well sculpted and the ties hang at a dynamic angle. Paint is probably this line’s weakest point. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing all that impressive either. Donatello is mostly molded in green plastic, with red for the bandana. The actual painted details are mostly clean, but there is a bit of bleed over, and the yellow on his torso missed a few spots. Donatello’s sole accessory is his trademark Bo staff. It’s decently sculpted, but it has no paint, which is a shame. Also, due to the lack of wrist articulation, he has difficulty properly holding it.


I purchased the full set of Comic Turtles from my local TRU while killing some time waiting to pick up my brother from a rehearsal. Donatello has been my favorite turtle for a while, so that’s why I reviewed him first. I contemplated just getting him, but that’s what I did with the NECA figures, and it didn’t work out all that well in the end, so all four it was. The figure is far from perfect, but he’s also far from terrible.